Word on the street is that GC leadership is actively working to “help” their people sort through everything that’s coming out online. We obviously don’t know what they’re going to say, but we hope they’re meeting so that the leadership can read all these posts to the people who come and publicly acknowledge the wrongdoing and harm that has been recorded here (along with so much more). We hope they will encourage their people to reach out to those they know who have left the church in order to listen to what they have to say. And we hope they will encourage them to prayerfully read through the posts here as well as the posts on Reddit and come to their own conclusions about the truthfulness and the seriousness of what is being said. But the group that so many of us have come to know would do something very different. They would:
- Flat out deny the truthfulness of much of what’s being said.
- Deflect taking full responsibility for their actions.
- Attempt to insulate themselves by assuring people that there are a lot more “facts” to these individual situations which justify what they did.
- Minimize the seriousness of the concerns that have been raised.
- Try to make people think that these are just isolated cases, not signs of serious long-standing and systemic problems.
- Cast doubt on the legitimacy of these stories and concerns by saying they are all coming from people who are either angry at God, angry at the church (leadership), not very spiritual, not trustworthy, or tools of Satan.
- Cast doubt on the legitimacy of these stories and concerns because many of them are being submitted anonymously by people who have been so wounded and hurt by this church, and are so afraid they will try to attack them like Elder123 was attacked, that they don’t think it’s safe to attach their real names to their posts. Can you blame them? Remember, many others have already attached their names when they initially tried to address their concerns with leadership.
- Attempt to make people believe that they’ve been misunderstood and painted in an unfairly negative light.
- Insinuate or flat out claim that this is all a demonic attack against them because they have been so faithful to God and because God is about to use them and the church to do amazing things.
- Or sometimes the blame is actually shifted to the congregation itself by attributing these problems to unconfessed “sin in the camp,” and by “camp” they usually mean everyone but the key leaders.
To sum it up, it often goes something like:
“You don’t understand… Here, let us tell you… See we’re the real victims here… Now just trust us and do what we say and everything will get better.”
We sincerely hope this is not the approach that is being taken. We hope you’ll see them humbling themselves on Public Access as they repent of their sins before the entire Mt. Pleasant community, and then follow up on it in very practical ways in the days and weeks to come.
That’s what we are hoping for. But if that’s not what you see then maybe give this list another look and see if you notice any similarities.
We’ve only given a very brief list of the ways they tend to deal with issues like this. And it’s usually not just one tactic or another, but a jumbled combination of any and all of them depending on what is most expedient at the moment. If we’ve left out any important ones that you’ve experienced, please include them in the comments below.